Saturday, May 30, 2020

Solar System Missions Update 2020-06

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of June 1st 2020.

On the 7th Parker Solar Probe will have its fifth perijelion at 0.13 AU distance. A bit further out Solar Orbiter has its first perihelion on the 15th, while it is still busy flying through the tail of comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS at the beginnig of the month. Even further out Juno has the 27th perijove on the 2nd.

The Mars missions Perseverance, Al Amal and Tianwen-1 all remain on track for a launch in July or early August.

Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

D3-Celestial: SVG and PNG-Export

A long requested feature for D3-Celestial: Export a map view as SVG, and for good measure I also implemented saving a PNG image. Both are available as buttons below the form. Ther isn't much to write about; a simple click saves the current view in the chosen format. the configuration parameter formFields.download = true enables the feature.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

D3-Celestial: Better DSO Names

Now here is the final naming feature for D3-Celestial: Deep Space Objects (DSOs), again thanks to Stellarium, which provides names and translations for many DSOs through their fantastic sky cultures feature, already providing thranslations in many languages. With this it made sense to separate the names from the data, and put them in a common file named dsonames.json that is indexed by the most commn designator for each object, e.g. NGC 224 (the Andromade Galaxy) of M 45 (Pleiades).

Friday, May 1, 2020

D3-Celestial: Even Better Star Names

Yet another step in the name refactoring for D3-Celestial: Star names in many languages, selectable in the "Proper names" select box, or via the global override "Object Names", which sets all object types that have it available to the chosen language. This was possible with the Stellarium application again, which provides translations for many star names through their fantastic sky cultures feature, that I already used extensively to provide ancient Chinese constellations.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Solar System Missions Update 2020-05

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of May 1st 2020.

The Perseverance Mars rover companion helicopter now also has a name: Ingenuity. The Chinese Mars mission is now called Tianwen-1, which can be translated as Skyquest-1, as far as I can learn with my nonexistent knowledge of Chinese. Further, the 2020 launches to Mars all appear to be on track to launch on time. And the Artemis-3 Moon landing now has a Lander, to be constructed by Blue Origin, Dynetics, SpaceX and many subcontractors.

Meanwhile, OSIRIS REx will perform a 250m flyover of its backup sample collection site Osprey, before the preparation for the actual collection in August will begin.

It's not solar System exploration, so not in my scope, but Space-X's Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight will likely also happen in May, on the 27th.

Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

D3-Celestial: Better Names in General, and Simpler

Another naming feature for D3-Celestial: A global override to consistently change all the object names to the same kind, with the select box below called, surprisingly "Object Names". With this setting all object types that have the chosen language available. A further new switch hides some of the more advanced settings to simplify the form, and only leaves the new global override for language changes. It is — also surprisingly — called "Advanced Options."

The relevant new options in the configuration file are pretty simple:

  advanced: true,     // Display fewer form fields if false 
  lang: "",           // Global language override for names, any name setting that has the chosen language available
                      // Default:desig or empty string for designations, other:
    // (ar) Arabic, (cn) Chinese, (cz) Czech, (en) English, (ee) Estonian, (fi) Finnish, (fr) French, (de) German,  
    // (gr) Greek, (il) Hebrew, (in) Hindi, (it) Italian, (jp) Japanese, (kr) Korean, (lat) Latin, (ir) Persian, 
    // (ru) Russian, (es) Spanish, (tr) Turkish  

Friday, April 3, 2020

D3-Celestial: Better Planetary Names (and Symbols)

Another extended name feature thanks to Wikipedia: Planetary names in different languages. While at it, I also made the way Solar System bodies are displayed selectable between symbol - how they were displayed until now, letter - The first one or two letters of each body's english name, and disk, a colored circle scaled by apparent magnitude. With the last one I cheated somewhat with the Sun and the Moon so that they don't overwhelm everything else.

The above map shows all the language options for constellations and planets as well as the display options for the latter randomly changing. The relevant new options for planets are:

  planets: {  //Show planet locations, if date-time is set
    show: false,
    // 3-letter designations of all solar system objects that should be displayed
    which: ["sol", "mer", "ven", "ter", "lun", "mar", "jup", "sat", "ura", "nep", "cer", "plu"],
    // Symbols as unicode codepoints, letter abbreviations and colors to be displayed
    symbols: {
      "sol": {symbol: "\u2609", letter:"Su", fill: "#ffff00"},
      "mer": {symbol: "\u263f", letter:"Me", fill: "#cccccc"},
      "ven": {symbol: "\u2640", letter:"V", fill: "#eeeecc"},
      "ter": {symbol: "\u2295", letter:"T", fill: "#00ccff"},
      "lun": {symbol: "\u25cf", letter:"L", fill: "#ffffff"},
      "mar": {symbol: "\u2642", letter:"Ma", fill: "#ff6600"},
      "cer": {symbol: "\u26b3", letter:"C", fill: "#cccccc"},
      "ves": {symbol: "\u26b6", letter:"Ma", fill: "#cccccc"},
      "jup": {symbol: "\u2643", letter:"J", fill: "#ffaa33"},
      "sat": {symbol: "\u2644", letter:"Sa", fill: "#ffdd66"},
      "ura": {symbol: "\u2645", letter:"U", fill: "#66ccff"},
      "nep": {symbol: "\u2646", letter:"N", fill: "#6666ff"},
      "plu": {symbol: "\u2647", letter:"P", fill: "#aaaaaa"},
      "eri": {symbol: "\u26aa", letter:"E", fill: "#eeeeee"}
    },
    // Style options for planetary symbols
    symbolStyle: { fill: "#00ccff", opacity:1, font: "bold 17px 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Consolas, sans-serif", align: "center", baseline: "middle" },
    symbolType: "symbol",  // Type of planetary symbol to be displayed: 'symbol', 'letter' or 'disk'
    names: false,  // Show name next to symbol
    // Style options for planetary names
    nameStyle: { fill: "#00ccff", font: "14px 'Lucida Sans Unicode', Consolas, sans-serif", align: "right", baseline: "top" },
    namesType: "en"  // Language in which the name is displayed, supported options:
    // (desig) 3-Letter-Designation, (ar) Arabic, (cn) Chinese, (en) English, (fr) French, (de) German, (gr) Greek, (il) Hebrew, 
    // (in) Hindi, (it) Italian, (jp) Japanese, (lat) Latin, (ru) Russian, (es) Spanish  
  },